Public Support for Increased Trade

Fewer people see benefits from free trade agreements.

Blue-Global-MapThe public is of two minds when it comes to trade with other countries. Most Americans say that increased trade with Canada, Japan and European Union countries – as well as India, Brazil and Mexico – would be good for the United States. But reactions are mixed to increased trade with South Korea and China.

More generally, there is increased skepticism about the impact of trade agreements such as NAFTA and the policies of the World Trade Organization. Roughly a third (35%) say that free trade agreements have been good for the United States, while 44% say they have been bad for the U.S.

Support for free trade agreements is now at one of its lowest points in 13 years of Pew Research Center surveys. In 2008, an identical percentage (35%) said free trade agreements were good for the U.S. Support for free trade agreements had increased last year, to 44% in April and 43% in November, despite the struggling economy.

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Source: The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press